wix

Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Wix

This is my face when you show me your website made in Wix.

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 I really hate to be the person to crush dreams. Really.  I come across friends of mine from college who are upstarting their business and since money is a concern, they go with Wix. Imagine the sirens from “Kill Bill” when someone says they use Wix. Can you feel the dramatic zoom in on my narrowed eyes? Yup, I hate Wix. It’s one of my major pet peeves.

Wix.com is a “cheap” alternative to hiring a web designer. It offers often outdated, uneditable, and restrictive control over your website. Sure, $9 a month (a minimum) seems to sound appealing but in reality, you’re spending a lot more. Buying a domain, having hosting, and most importantly, paying to remove ads from your site are all additional cost to ensuring your business has a website on Wix.

To make matters worse, Wix has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. Using the hashtag #ItsThatEasy during their Superbowl ad this year just grinded my gears. Web design isn’t easy. That devalues the whole process of work web designers put into their client websites. Do you think Band-Aid would promote a gauze or bandage where you can set a serious wound itself with the hashtag #ItsThatEasy? Do you think Black & Decker would promote for people with no understanding of construction to use their products remodeling a house because #ItsThatEasy? No. Web design is a visual and technical language that no template can replace.

What lures people in so quickly is the “templates” they offer. Promoting their ‘stylized’ templates appeal to certain looks in each genre: a template labeled Photography will showcase visuals over content while one labeled Business has a more traditional website style. These are very cool – really. But, their “100’s” of templates can only offer so much. How long will it be until someone else who wanted a “cheap” website has the same website design as you, but with THEIR logo plastered on it? I’ve seen it happen and it’s more awkward than having the same prom dress as your arch nemesis in high school. Yeah, it’s THAT bad.

Just because you put a bow on it doesn’t mean it wasn’t fit into a box and shipped to millions of people.

One of the scariest things to me is the inability to take your files or content with you. Remember how we wrote about how you need to own your digital assets? This is no different! What if Wix ever changes their rates, shut down, has an attack on their service or is down for maintenance? You have nothing to show for the $9 dollars a month you’ve paid for – what, a year? You will not own your own website this way. You will be dependent on cookie-cutter templates, limited support, and paying more just to use a custom domain. My hosting company offers backups, data restoration, migration, and customer support. Wix? Not so much. You’re stuck in this box and I hope any Wix users reading this will realize just how small that box is.

Plus, it totally sucks with SEO since their DIY coding/templates are made to look pretty, not crawl well with search engines. WordPress offers a plethora of free plugins that allows you to control how your website ranks and what keywords it is targeted to. Wix is barebones and doesn’t offer much. Bummer.

I’m not hating for no reason! Trust me, you’ll thank me.

I have three friends who are all professional photographers. One of them took classes, researched, and put a lot of time in understanding the function and form for photography. The others? They just bought an expensive digital camera. While the educated photographer does fine, the other two still get a lot of business. The educated photographer puts more thought and work into her art form than the others. Her shots are framed perfectly and timed perfectly, colored perfectly, and are superior in every way. The problem is that the average consumer can’t tell the difference or doesn’t value the difference.

You may think I’m being critical and judgmental, but I’m not!

The mass majority does not know how to tell apart differing qualities. To apply this to Wix, it’s simple: people are lead to believe that they are paying to have a site that not only looks good but functions well. I’m not saying you’re a horrible person for using Wix, but be aware that there are other options! Options that give you exactly what you need and will allow you to have a website tailor made for you. Web designer or not – you deserve better than something that fits in a box.

Like my photography friends, the time taken to learn their craft as opposed to buying a fancy camera doesn’t matter if the client can’t tell the difference. That cheapens the entire industry. When you package everything into a neat box and present it as what they need, of course people are going to buy into it. I don’t blame them. It’s much more than visuals and how good your website looks.

If the struggles of a web designer and their industry are the least of your concerns, the aforementioned points brought up in this article should be top priority.  At the end of the day, you’re still investing more than you should for the service you’re receiving. YOU DESERVE BETTER!

You won’t truly own your site, you’ll live in a boring pre-made web design box, and your site won’t rank as well as it could.

So… why should anyone use Wix again?